Another review round-up for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The second wave of reviews averages an up the middle review but only because those that liked it really liked it and those that didn't pretty much just hated it and didn't hold back.
Entertainment Weekly B
Dark of the Moon is hardly a fleet production, but here Bay makes his best, most flexible use yet of all the flamboyant bigness at his command: Computer-drawn characters and human actors seem to occupy the same narrative for once.
You have to grind through 90 minutes of tedium to get to the chewy, chocolate-y center of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. There are moments where the jokes work and the earlier action scenes are kind of cool, but the movie’s sole purpose is to drive you to the spectacle at the end of the 3D rainbow. It’s the rare film I can point to and say “If you’re going to see it, see it in 3D” because the silliness of the technology is perfectly matched to the silliness of the movies that Michael Bay makes. Swerving wildly between the insultingly stupid the ironically idiotic, Dark of the Moon is Bay at his worst and at his best.
The Hollywood Reporter
When the 154-minute Transformers: Dark of the Moon finally ends, your feeling is one of exhaustion, not exhilaration. Pleased with his first effort but downright apologetic about the second Transformers movie, director Michael Bay has thrown every imaginable visual effect, CG animation and physical stunt, all in 3D, into the battle for planet Earth. Bay really needed a gag shot where one alien transforms itself into the kitchen sink.
If you have a young son or nephew you’re sure to have seen them at it. Clutching one action figure in each grubby little fist and repeatedly smashing them together as he softly growls to himself the coolest one liners from a dozen superhero movies. This is the script that was playing in his head as he did that. How emotionally invested you can get in a fight between two action figures is open to debate however, no matter how many Samuel Barber references are squeaked into the underscore. This Roboterdammerung is impressive to look at, and fun in parts, but like the talking car showroom that forms the main part of the cast, it’s a little thin on heart.
Chicago Tribune 1.5 stars/?
a work of ineffable soullessness and persistent moral idiocy, concludes with Chicago taking it in the shorts for 50-odd minutes, at the hands of the Decepticons in an alien takeover scored, partially, to an emo-ballad mourning the "cataclysm" of it all.
Empire Magazine 2/5 stars
An improvement on Transformers 2, but then what isn’t? To paraphrase the Bard, it’s a tale, full of sound and fury and extremely stupid dialogue and nonsensical plotting and preposterous stunts and robots punching each other’s heads off, signifying nothing. Needless to say, it’s going to be huge.
Roger Ebert 1/5
a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies.
NY Daily News 1/5 stars
if you're looking for a shock-and-awe experience, the third in history's most bombastic summer series will do the trick. There's no arguing you'll leave feeling like you were assaulted by an army of alien robots yourself. Anyone hoping to engage even a single brain cell, however, is out of luck.